Negative Outlook

My first order of the day was to get some necessary docs together so I could scan and email them to an attorney who’ll start working on them Monday morning.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’d rather be waiting on someone else, than to have another waiting on me.

This business of time sensitivity has been with me for many-a-year, and I’d say part of it came by honestly from my mother’s genes, and the other from the years I worked at a bank where we were always up against the clock.  Back then, if we could shave off five our ten minutes on a particular job, that was a huge accomplishment.

Sometimes those years come creeping back to the forefront of my thoughts, and when comparing how people worked back then with today’s, there’s a noticeable difference.  I’m not saying it was like that across the board in all workplaces, but the department I worked in, demanded efficiency along with proficiency.  The incapable ones usually weeded themselves out, all save a banking dinosaur who always had to be helped along, and there being nothing we could do about it because she was under a different umbrella of management.  It finally got to the point where I would freely and willingly help her along just so we wouldn’t have a bigger problem meeting our own deadlines, but on a positive note, I did learn how to proficiently run a “pocket” machine that was the size of an over-sized vintage upright piano that had been electrified.  Heaven help the person who’d make a mistake on it because all errors had to be taken out backwards. What a hoot!

My mid-morning was spent running a few necessary errands along with making preparations for this afternoon’s public open house.  It surprised me when seeing how few people there were out and about in the Downtown.  Pretty much all our block’s commotion was taking place back at Commercial Alley with their burying of those high-power lines belonging to Alliant Energy.  I’m convinced they won’t be completely finished with that project until next Spring.

When I arrived at my open house, I was greeted by several of the other condominium owners who wanted some questions answered regarding the standard rules concerning the amount of reserves our lending industry requires on condominium associations.  One of them completely mis-interpreted the print-out he received until I took the time to fully explain their rules.  I re-assured them that their reserves are great enough to where the sale of any units in their building would not be impeded because they had more than enough in their reserve account.

Part of my time yesterday was spent researching the information I gave them today, and as chance would have it, there was a mortgage originator who wasn’t sure what the required percentages were because that was usually left to their underwriting department.  I was keen on relay those hard and fast rules, just so everyone would be aware of them from the get-go.  We must remember, the best surprise, is no surprise.

My public open house went very well to where I had five people there, and personally glad they all thought it to be very well cared-for and reasonably priced.  One of those handsome young couples happened to be renting an apartment, and when hearing how much they pay a month for rent, I’m convinced they could be living all the cheaper if they’d purchase something.  I’ve been getting all the more concerned over these spiking rent prices in our City, along with being convinced there’d be more young buyers purchasing homes if they were able to save for a downpayment, but since their rents are so high, they’re finding themselves caught in vicious circles.

Just yesterday I heard a sad story from a woman who has a daughter living in California, an likely going to be making a career change or having to move out of California because she’s not making enough money for her and soon to be husband to purchase in that State.  With emotion she exclaimed, “I can’t believe how high their prices are out there, and shocked to hear my daughter telling me that even a run-down little two bedroom in need of a complete renovation couldn’t be bought for under $500,000.”  I shook my head saying, “Their market is so overly-inflated that it’s now moving into negative outlook territory, and I’m convinced there will be another correction, and perhaps even greater than our financial crisis of 2008.”  Most have no idea how expensive housing is in most areas of California until they’ve experienced it firsthand.

People living here in Mason City have no idea how good they have it when comparing our housing market with other metro areas.  It’s no wonder people are getting goofy, and it’s likely due to the added stress they have when attempting to make ends meet on a monthly basis.  Yes, we have evil winters, but I wouldn’t be willing to make any sort of trade-offs with them.

My day tomorrow is filled with “must do” projects which will have me cranking nearly the entire day.  Thank goodness it’s supposed to be pleasant tomorrow because some of those projects are outdoor ones.  I’d planned on getting a few of them done this morning, but the interruptions I was getting, kept me from them.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Quality, affordable housing is the key element of a strong and secure Iowa.

Joe Chodur

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